A screenshot of Itqadem platform, which is Egypt and Arab s first Arabic-language digital educational platform for supporting people with autism and disabilities.
According to a statement by the ministry, the Itqadem platform was unveiled during a celebration held by the Egyptian Advance Society for Autism and other Disabilities (Advance) on Thursday, marking its 25th anniversary, or silver jubilee.
The platform offers a range of educational services and can be displayed in both Arabic and English languages.
The Itqadem platform offers rehabilitative curricula, specialized training, educational resources, and technological advancements.
El-Qabbaj reported that the National Research Center released the findings of a national survey on the incidence of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 1-12 years in eight governorates, including Cairo, Fayoum, Assiut, Aswan, Dakahlia, Gharbia, Damietta, and Marsa Matrouh, in April 2022.
The survey indicates that the autism spectrum in Egypt affects 1 percent of the population, with over one million children in the country being affected by autism.
World Health Organization data shows that one in 160 children have autism with varying degrees of symptoms.
The Ministry of Social Solidarity, in collaboration with civil, religious, and university organizations, offers various services to individuals with disabilities through its 805 rehabilitation centres.
El-Qabbaj announced the signing of a cooperation protocol between the ministry and ADVANCE to develop a comprehensive rehabilitation program for children with autism and mental disabilities who receive training and rehabilitation services in the ministry's affiliated centers for basic learning skills.
The platform will also offer these services electronically, including a manual for educators to train and rehabilitate students with autism and intellectual disability, as well as a guide for behavior management of students with autism and intellectual disability.
According to the statement, the platform will provide tools and forms for assessing, registering, and monitoring students with autism and intellectual disabilities.
"Advance was established with a vision of fully integrating persons with disabilities into a society that understands, accepts, and integrates their disability in all aspects of life," said El-Qabbaj during the event.
Advance was established in 1998 by a group of parents of children with autism and intellectual disabilities.
The minister also added that the association is committed to promoting the rights of individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities and providing them with various services to help them achieve their full potential and integrate into society.
Advance has been developing training programmes for the Egyptian Network for Autism, which includes over 65 associations and institutions in 24 governorates of Egypt. The organization also conducts an annual autism awareness campaign in the country.
Advance’s launch of the Itqadem platform now is considered the culmination of its efforts.
El-Qabbaj emphasized the importance of promoting awareness about individuals with autism and empowering them to contribute positively to Egypt's comprehensive development process.
She highlighted the significance of increasing societal and media focus on children with disabilities, including the importance of early detection and intervention to enhance their developmental prospects and enable them to reach their full potential.